Read from 27 September – 11 October, 2017
Synopsis: In Book I of the trilogy, Tamras, our hero, arrives in Merin’s house to begin her apprenticeship as a warrior, but her small stature causes many, including Tamras herself, to doubt that she will ever become a competent swordswoman. To make matters worse, the Lady Merin assigns her the position of companion, little more than a personal servant, to a woman who came to Merin’s house, seemingly out of nowhere, the previous winter, and this stranger wants nothing to do with Tamras.
Tamras’s journey begins with the smallest of steps. She sets aside her disappointment and performs as well as she can the humble tasks given her, and eventually she succeeds in winning the trust and then the friendship of the cantankerous warrior to whom she has been assigned.
In the first year of her journey, Tamras will make a series of choices that often seem insignificant, but they will flow from her character and from her good intentions, and they will determine her destiny.
Bookish Things: 267 pages. This is the first book in the When Women Were Warriors Trilogy. The cover is quite simple and not really eye-catching.
Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for Free.
I don’t think I’ll do this book justice with this review. The whole world created by Catherine in this trilogy is beautiful and harsh in equal measures.
Female warriors, daughters offered to the warrior ways from an early age, love shared and love lost. It was in one breath beautiful and the next heart wrenching. This story explores the strength of being a woman; it celebrates that women can be strong in many different ways. One does not need to be a warrior to be a woman of strength and courage in Catherine’s world. It was lovely to see this and explore the rich tradition and history of this world.
Tamras (our protagonist) is an old soul, she’s this young woman struggling to make sense of her world, do right by her mother and her family’s name, and at the same time offers such words of wisdom that it’s almost baffling. I enjoyed learning of her world with her.
Then you add to the mix Maara and things get truly interesting. The exploration of sexuality is handled in a delicate and sensual way. It was meaningful and emotional, beautifully handled and integral to the story and character growth.
One of my favourite characters is Gnith, the wise old woman, who might appear feeble in her old age oft spouts words of wisdom at just the right moment to help Tamras along on her journey of self-discovery. Sparrow is also another favourite.
If you are after stories of female warriors that look like this:
This book is not for you. These glorious women are strong and proud, but war and fighting is but a small thread of this complex story. I am not sure if there will be more action and fighting in the other books of this trilogy, but even if there is not, I will be reading them. I truly enjoyed Catherine’s writing style and the poetic way she draws the reader into each scene along with the characters. I look forward to continuing on this journey with Tamras, Sparrow and Maara.